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As a business owner, you’ve probably felt the pressure to be on Instagram. After all, it seems like everyone and their moms are on Instagram these days – why shouldn’t your business be, too?
Instagram is among the most popular social platforms (more than one billion – that’s right, with a “B” – active accounts every month) and it is becoming a hub for companies in the B2B sector.
For instance, Oracle – a company developing computer software and data management tools for businesses – has a vibrant Instagram profile, with on-brand illustrations and engaging employee profiles. They’ve attracted 215k followers on the platform. Or, scroll through tech-giant IBM’s profile to find color-coordinated graphics, daily business inspiration and amazing throwback posts (the company has been around for decades). They successfully take the sometimes-dry aspects of their business and make it approachable, alluring and a little more fun for their 344k followers.
But, while some B2Bs have seen serious success, don’t hop on the bandwagon quite yet.
As with any form of marketing, having a successful Instagram presence takes time, thought and strategy. Ask yourself these questions to determine whether Instagram is the right social platform for your business.
What Are Your Company’s Ultimate Goals?
First and foremost, evaluate your company’s goals. If your company is seeking to promote thought leadership, brand awareness or expand educational missions, Instagram can be an effective space to accomplish these goals utilizing compelling visuals. Once you build up your following, Instagram can also be used to drive traffic to your website through bio links or the “swipe up” feature on stories (available to accounts with at least 10k followers).
Is Your Target Audience on Instagram?
When engaging in new marketing strategies, one of the first aspects to consider is your audience. How is this new strategy informing or entertaining the customers you want to attract? Will your target audience resonate with this new strategy? Will it ultimately incite the kind of action you want?
According to 2020 data collected by Hootsuite, 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile daily. A third of the most-viewed stories are from businesses. Further, 37% of American adults use Instagram. The social network is projected to earn $12.32 billion in ad revenue in 2020. With that many eyes on the platform, it’s likely your target audience will be there, too. This platform will continue to grow, so keep it on your radar as a potentially rewarding marketing channel.
Another facet to consider: some B2B companies use Instagram as a hiring and recruitment tool. Who knows? Your perfect candidate might decide to apply because of a perfectly timed Instagram post.
What Visual Content Do You Have to Share?
We’ve all seen those boring corporate Instagram profiles with row after row of canned stock images and company logos. Granted, this imagery can make sense sometimes, but also consider what visual content your company can share that sets you apart and provides value to your audience. Options include:
- Behind-the-scenes tours
- Product and service demos
- Live Q&As with company leaders
- Photos and videos showcasing your company’s culture,
- Branded infographics highlighting processes, benefits or features
- Inspirational quotes
Do You Have the Resources to Support an Instagram Strategy?
An effective Instagram strategy takes time and energy to see any major results. Building a following can seem like an uphill battle. It might be tempting to simply buy followers – but this can damage your credibility, skew valuable metrics and create more work down the road.
Consider how your company will maintain your Instagram presence. It’s not just about throwing a few pictures up and calling it a day. You’ll need to answer questions, maintain quality content and interact with your following (that’s why they call it social media, after all). It’s a lot of work – but there are a few digital tools that can make it easier. Plus, consider collaborating with a team of social media marketing professionals who can assist in outlining an Insta-strategy to achieve business goals, craft targeted content and engage with customers while keeping content brand-aligned.
When approached thoughtfully and strategically, Instagram provides plenty of value for many types of B2B companies. It’s an excellent way to showcase your personality, aid brand awareness and connect with your supporters in a more personal way. However, if Instagram does not align with your company’s goals, there are myriad ways to promote your brand and expand your reach.
Still unsure if Instagram is right for you? We assist businesses with a smart and sustainable approach to social media marketing, including Instagram.